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Operations and Maintenance



We strive to perform quality, cost effective maintenance and repairs in an environmentally responsible manner, and we take pride in making a positive and lasting first impression. Extending the life of the buildings and grounds, while keeping systems working at optimal performance levels, is part of an ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. 

Did you know?

Approximately 6,000 preventive maintenance work orders are completed annually, reducing unexpected repairs and allowing the university to operate efficiently while minimizing interruptions. The Operations and Maintenance Department works diligently to maintain safe and efficient building systems, servicing 91 buildings across 698 acres. With a staff of almost 200 employees, the department is responsible for preventive maintenance and repairs on all campus facilities and grounds. We provide power, heat, air conditioning, and water on campus, overseeing 3.2 million square feet of interior space.

If you are in need of a service, please log into myWCU to access the work request form 

Shops and Services



The Grounds Maintenance Shop and the Greenhouse are staffed year around by full time grounds workers, landscape specialists, and heavy equipment operators. 

The majority of grounds maintenance services are performed during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Facilities Management makes every effort to coordinate grounds maintenance operations so as to have the least noise and disruptive impact upon student housing and academic classroom activities as possible.


Standard services include:

  • Repair existing doors, doorstops, hinges and interior surfaces
  • Repair/replace acoustical tiles in ceilings
  • Repair torn carpeting, venetian blinds, molding, baseboards, and weather stripping
  • Repair roof leaks

Billable services include new work, or work on non-facility items such as:

  • Installation of wall-mounted shelves, freestanding bookcases, chalkboards and dry wipe boards
  • Assembly of furniture such as desks, computer stations, and prefabricated partitions
  • Hang pictures, plants and minor wall items, construct bulletin boards
  • Install doors, door conversions, doorstops and enclosures
  • Repair wooden furniture, install Formica tops on desks, move wall shelves

The Physical Plant is responsible for exterior and interior painting of campus academic buildings. Painting is accomplished on a timetable allowing all facilities to be repainted over a set period of time. Additionally, situations may occur due to unforeseen maintenance requirements.  This is a non-cost service to all departments.

Billable paint services include all painting considered cosmetic or not in sequence with the repainting schedule. A building inspection is performed by the Building Inspector to determine whether paintwork is maintenance or cosmetic. Maintenance painting is done for surface protection and is determined by the degree of paint deterioration. Painting to cover soiled areas or marks uncovered by moving wall-hung items and furniture is generally considered cosmetic. All campus non-academic facilities may request paint services on a billable basis. Billable paint services may include:

  • Dry walling, texturing and painting associated with remodeling or renovation
  • Refinish furniture, paint or stain new furniture

When access systems or security locks are required, university locksmiths advise on how to secure an area, and determine the appropriate devices to use. Non-billable services (academic facilities) include lock repairs. Billable services include new installations and work on non-building related locks. Billable services include: rekeying, lock work on furniture, lock changes or new installations, safe combination changes and key duplication. For information on key issuance and control of keys, please see Western Carolina University Policy #13 ~ Key and Lock Service

2017 Sewer Report
The following maintenance services are provided to the academic campus at no cost, and to non-academic facilities for a fee:

  • Repair of plumbing (pipes and fixtures) integral to the building operating system
  • Repair plumbing components such as tanks, valves, traps, exchangers and water heaters
  • Repair laboratory drains and fixtures

The Plumbing Department performs the following services to all for a fee:

  • Maintain plumbing services to appliances
  • Plumbing associated with remodeling or renovations
  • Perform minor construction
  • Install new equipment
  • Repair plumbing problems related to departmental equipment
  • Replace plumbing systems, fixtures and water heaters
  • Repair and replacement of fixtures, supply and discharge lines for laboratory gases and compressed air. 

For routine service, please log into myWCU to access the Work Order Request. In case of emergency, please call 227-7224, this number is answered 24 hours a day.


We provide extensive electrical service to the university and to the surrounding community. For the campus, we maintain and repair all installed electric service for both internal and external building power and all building power supplies. Some of the regular non-billable electrical maintenance services performed are: 

  • Maintain the campus high-voltage distribution system
  • Maintain the primary electrical system
  • Replace breakers in academic buildings

Billable electrical services provided include:

  • New installations such as outlets and electrical fixtures
  • Support of campus special events to include power supply, flood lights, public address systems and standby electricians
  • Replace power distribution auxiliaries (i.e. transformers, service entry sections)
  • Repair electrical problems of departmentally owned electrical equipment (i.e., ovens, garbage disposals, sterilizers, centrifuges, etc.)

For the community, the Physical Plant operates an electric company regulated by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.   Electric Resale functions like any public electric utility such as CP&L and Duke Power Company.  The exception is that revenue beyond that required for efficient operation of the Resale Electric Department is earmarked for university scholarships.  




This department provides routine cleaning services Monday through Friday for academic and administrative buildings and athletic venues. The team maintains approximately 1.5 million square feet of building space, with 43 Housekeepers and 9 Floor Maintenance Technicians. Two shifts operate Monday-Friday, 6:00 AM-12:30 AM. 

The services include both regularly scheduled routines and special requests. Special request work is normally billed to the requesting department. Examples of non-chargeable services provided by Housekeeping Services:

  • Clean restrooms, public areas, classrooms and offices
  • Vacuum/shampoo carpeting as scheduled or needed
  • Empty wastebaskets and remove recyclables
  • Dust/wet mop/wax floors
  • Replace fluorescent light bulbs

Our housekeeping department uses environmentally friendly products from brands like Diversey and Inopak. Our paper products are produced from recycled fibers and exceed Green Seal requirements for post-consumer materials. We also use microfiber wet mopping and waxing systems which reduces the amount of water and chemicals required to clean. 

Log into myWCU to access and submit a work order request or call 227-7224 for additional services, emergencies, or special events. Facilities Management will work with faculty and staff to resolve classroom maintenance or custodial problems in an expeditious manner and your comments and suggestions on ways to improve the classroom environment are always welcome. We ask that your comments be directed to the Housekeeping Manager at 828-227-7032.



WCU water treatment plant is nearly 50 years old, and WCU is one of only two schools in North Carolina with a water plant.  Water is pumped from the Tuckasegee River and produces approximately 95 million gallons of drinking water per year.




Of the 123 buildings Western Carolina University campus, 35 buildings (comprising approximately 2.2M square feet) are connected to the campus central steam plant. The balance of campus facilities are heated by local means (boilers, heat pump, geothermal, etc.). The campus central steam plant is housed in a building originally constructed in the 1920’s.

Did you know?

The steam plant has the capacity of producing 97,000 pounds of steam per hour. On the coldest of days, the plant is operating at or near 100% capacity. The Steam Plant operates 24 hour per day 365 days per year, and has two miles of underground steam and condensate lines.

The Grounds Maintenance Shop operates the campus solid waste pickup and disposal operation.  A modern compactor trash truck with a crew of two traverses the campus twice daily collecting and disposing of refuse. This service is provided to all divisions of the university without cost.

Learn more about Sustainability and recycling on campus

The Grounds Shop also collects recyclable materials. Currently, we recycle all mixed paper, glass, plastic 1 & 2, as well as aluminum. It is collected daily and stored near WCU's Print Shop.

WCU Recycles:

  • Mixed Paper 
  • Cardboard 
  • Aluminum 
  • Glass 
  • Plastics 
  • Printer Cartridges 
  • Electronic Devices
  • Batteries 
  • Fluorescent Lamps 
  • Food & Oil Waste from Dining Services
  • Construction Waste & Scrap Meta

The Grounds Maintenance Shop also provides pest control services to all facilities on campus.  In addition to maintaining a preventive pest control program, pest control service is also available for emergency pest situations such as wasps, mice or rats, or other unwanted pests.  


Grounds Event Set Up


A dedicated staff is available to assist with office moves and special events. Chargeable services may include:

- Set-up and take-down for special events (non-state appropriated fund accounts)

- Set-up and take down for department social gatherings

Submit a work order or call for additional services, emergencies, or special events.

A significant number of service requests are for general repair services. This work usually requires minimal personnel to investigate and accomplish the repair. Larger crews or specialists will be called upon if necessary. General repair services may be requested by filling out the online work order form.

In order to accomplish this work, personnel have been assigned to particular buildings and campus areas to provide the first response in general repair calls. These personnel are assigned to locations to provide the highest level of response to service requests ranging in urgency from immediate to routine.

Examples of general repair work items (usually non-billable) are:

  • Lights out
  • Sticking doors
  • Room temperature
  • Check odors (gas, fire, electrical, etc.)
  • Replace fire extinguisher

Please note that Building Coordinators have been appointed within all campus buildings, they deal with us regularly and know our operations well. Service requests should be coordinated with these coordinators whenever possible. Coordination helps to eliminate delays and duplication of effort. 

Elevator problems: The Work Control Center must be contacted for all elevator trouble calls. Service contracts are in place for maintenance and repair service for elevators.

Departmental equipment: Departments are responsible for maintaining their own equipment. Physical Plant does provide billable repair services for such equipment if so desired by the department

Service request within dormitories must be coordinated through Residence Hall Coordinators or the Student Housing Office.

A materials warehouse located on Old Highway 107, where we maintain a repair supplies inventory, handle receipt of university freight and bulk delivery, and also assist with university departments' storage needs. 

The warehouse receives all freight and bulk deliveries for the campus such as furniture, large equipment, and similar items. The Physical Plant will contact the receiving department to arrange campus delivery of these items. UPS, FedEx, and office supply order deliveries are made by those agencies directly to campus departments.

A third function of the warehouse is to provide space for departmental bulk storage and departmental equipment storage. This space is limited and not intended for extended time storage of items. The Warehouse Manager assigns space, please contact the Warehouse at 828-227-7298 if you have any questions about these services. 

To obtain material from the warehouse, fill out the online work order form. If you plan to use the warehouse on a continuing basis, a standing work order will be created for you with quarterly billing.

Need Service?

If you are in need of a service, please log into myWCU to access and complete a work request form

Billing Policy

Any questions, comments, or problems related charges should be addressed to the Facilities Management Business Officer at 828-227-7442.

More billing policy information

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